back to article Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Have you noticed Microsoft being a little too eager in pushing its Windows 10 upgrade lately? You're not alone. The Reg news tip inbox has been awash the past few days with readers reporting that the newest version of Windows has been forcing itself onto computers amid other operating system updates, and sometimes even …

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  1. Christoph Silver badge

    Try using this tool to disable the upgrade.

    1. mtp

      Tool

      But is it safe? Got to be careful about running tools from random sites.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Tool

        You really don't have to download and run a tool from a random website. Not if you know what regedit is.

        1. Create a text file in your text editor of choice.

        2. Type in the following:

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx]

        "DisableGwx"=dword:00000001

        3. Save it as "fuckoffWindows10nagware.reg". Make sure ".reg" is the real extension, it doesn't have a hidden ".txt" or something following - if you're reading this site, I assume you know about filename extensions.

        4. Right-click and "Run as administrator". If necessary, confirm that "yes", you do want to make changes to Windows.

        5. Problem solved. Have a nice day.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: from a random website

          Random website? Most of us know of github. The tool consists of batch files, registry files and additions for the hosts file and it's all plain text and readable. So no dodgier than a random registry hack. The best advice for anyone that feels capable is to take a look at it to see if you're prepared to trust it.

          1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip
            Trollface

            Re: Tool

            This useful tool fixes all windows update problems, permanently.

            http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: Tool

              Thanks for posting that link....

            2. That_Guy
              Facepalm

              Re: Tool

              I'm mystified by those who shudder at the horrors of M$ and Ubuntu, then proclaim Mint as some kind of golden horse, Mint has it's own issues with snooping, they get to place their own ads on your searches, and know what your searches are unless you remove the "addons", there's a few things you have to remove for a clean system, but with such a business model, can they be trusted by anyone mildly security focused?

              citation: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=76946

              There are plenty of distributions that are truly community driven and offer truly free (as in freedom) software. Mint while arguably popular isn't the holy grail it's usually lauded as. I'll refrain from suggesting a distro, it's an utterly personal choice and something only personal research can help you fathom.

              1. Hans 1 Silver badge

                Re: Tool

                Posts by That_Guy

                1 post • joined 16 Oct 2015

              2. asdf Silver badge

                Re: Tool

                > Mint has it's own issues

                Yeah like almost all the rest of the GNU/Linux world its about to turn its back on POSIX. If your are a windows user switching away no worries you will love it as its turning into the hairball you know and love. If you actually care about POSIX, *BSD and the proprietary Unix(s) medium term will be the only game in town.

                1. pogul

                  Re: Tool

                  "about to turn its back on POSIX."

                  @asdf Can you please share a reference? Google hasn't turned up anything useful and I'd really like to find out more.

                  1. asdf Silver badge

                    Re: Tool

                    >"about to turn its back on POSIX."

                    >@asdf Can you please share a reference?

                    "Many of my previous projects (including PulseAudio and Avahi) have been written to be portable. Being relieved from the chains that the requirement for portability puts on you is quite liberating. While ensuring portability when working on high-level applications is not necessarily a difficult job it becomes increasingly more difficult if the stuff you work on is a system component (which systemd, PulseAudio and Avahi are).

                    In fact, the way I see things the Linux API has been taking the role of the POSIX API and Linux is the focal point of all Free Software development. Due to that I can only recommend developers to try to hack with only Linux in mind and experience the freedom and the opportunities this offers you. So, get yourself a copy of The Linux Programming Interface, ignore everything it says about POSIX compatibility and hack away your amazing Linux software. It's quite relieving!"

                    -- Lennart Poettering (very influential idiot over at Red Hat, the company that just happens to be riding record profits as they strategically pre-empt many other's work over the last two decades by turning GNU/Linux into a Windows like hairball that just happens to causes more and more FOSS to be Linux only, thus causing a profit snowball for Red Hat).

                    https://lwn.net/Articles/430598/

                    1. asdf Silver badge

                      Re: Tool

                      The key to everything was when udev gained a hard dependency on systemd. That was Poettering's master stroke and one way too many people didn't realize until much too late. kdbus will be the double tap to the head. Such an arrogant sh*t head little prick he is as well.

                      1. asdf Silver badge

                        Re: Tool

                        People complain systemd breaks the Unix philosophy but not at the highest level. It does serve one purpose to eat other FOSS and force a hard dependency on Linux. FOSS as always has ways of fighting back such as the *BSDs but in large part it becomes like the block chain in bitcoin in which the path the majority take ends up dominating. With Red Hat throwing a massive amount of money (that they now have and will continue to have) and dev time at the problem its looking grim long term for POSIX especially what with commercial UNIX dying.

                        1. asdf Silver badge

                          Re: Tool

                          Also on that link I give above it was more for the quote than the analysis of the author. He blames BSD way too much for the problem and implies them caring about POSIX (or indeed stability and not constantly breaking APIs) is passe and holding progress back when the truth is Red Hat went out of its way to make sure as many frameworks the FOSS desktop environments would come to depend on, would be near impossible to port to other OS as possible to the point of ripping up and throwing way frameworks that did get ported like HAL. There was definitely a need for some of what Red Hat did but Red Hat completely did it the wrong way (for anybody but their shareholders) which was predictable and its on the rest of the commercial *nix community (who actually do most of the FOSS development) for going along with it. Some may make their bones on Linux and enjoy it now but lets see how they like it as Red Hat starts being able to dictate more and more in the ecosystem with fewer and fewer viable alternatives. Forking is only as viable as your resources and your user base.

                          1. asdf Silver badge

                            Re: Tool

                            Excellent comment from comment section of that link:

                            "The solution (on the POSIX front) is to get newer Linux APIs standardized before forcing everyone to switch to them. It is totally unacceptable to say "we're number one, you do it like this". I'm not singling anyone out, but it's just plain wrong to have that attitude. Not only does it hurt portability, but it also makes it increasingly difficult to document how Operating Systems like Linux are supposed to work. Ever wonder why (even given the demise of the publishing industry) there are so few books coming out these days for developers to read? It's because this train is moving so fast that only those riding it have a hope of making the next stop."

              3. Infernoz Bronze badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Tool

                Bogus, no google.xml in my Linux Mint 17 (latest) Cinnamon and I use startpage anyway for search in all OS and Firefox, because google are the worst for tracking!

            3. Fatman Silver badge

              Re: Tool

              <quote>This useful tool fixes all windows update problems, permanently.

              http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php</quote>

              The bonus is, that after installing, you will have a less attractive MALWARE target.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Tool

              If only it was as easy to get my mum to go to that link instead of somehow, without her knowing how, Windows started "upgrading" her computer from 8.1 to 10. Then promptly crashed into an unrecoverable bsod. Thanks Microsoft!

            5. Eion MacDonald

              Re: Tool

              Regret, while *nux for personal use, I have to use MS software (from home computers) to interact with the company which pays me!

            6. illiad

              Re: Tool

              and creates a whole host of other problems, when your PA says it will not run the MS office CD....

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Tool @illiad

                and creates a whole host of other problems, when your PA says it will not run the MS office CD....

                Old boss of mine used to run that line of bull waaaaay back in 2011. Pissed him off no end when I grabbed a Linux disk, had the OS installed inside 20 minutes on a blank machine (all drivers etc done, full office suite, can play media without having to download extras unlike certain OS's), and then grabbed Office 2010 and installed that in the system without (as he insisted) having to install extra bits of special software or spending hours doing special configurations. All this was done in front of someone he was proudly running Linux down to. While we were talking over things and I was distracted doing my normal job and looking after other customers.

                Poor guy. Couldn't run it down any further when I showed the customer it would more than meet their needs.

                (Customer I still see often.. Old boss - and his business- long gone)

                BTW, how far back in time are you stretching for this? MS Office CD?????

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: from a random website

            "Random website? Most of us know of github."

            I've *heard* of it. I was unaware that all content on the site is vetted by a team of expert analysts who despite getting no payment from me are nevertheless dedicated to my personal well-being.

            You note that the files are all plain text and readable. That's insufficient. I've spent a couple of decades with this stuff and can certainly understand what REG and CMD files will do, but that doesn't mean that I can understand the wider consequences just by reading them. Give me a copy of the Windows source code and a few months to experiment and payment to my employer for my time and energy and I'll let you know. By that time, of course, MS will have teleported the goalposts into a parallel dimension so my answer won't be very useful to you.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Tool

          There are more regkeys than those, see the next page for three more (post title "Problems and Solutions for KB3035583"). I particularly like the new DisableOSUpgrade entry, as if making your consent known with AllowOSUpgrade wasn't enough. I suppose next month we'll have YesImReallySure key.

        3. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Tool

          5. Problem solved. Have a nice day.

          See my post much later in this thread. GWX reinstalled along with others despite reg hacks etc.

        4. Lush At The Bar

          @Veti

          Having removed the offending updates I was aware of (Upgrade app, 8.1 telemetry etc.) the "Upgrade to Windows 10 Home" optional update would not piss off and stay hidden, no matter how many times I hid it. Every reboot, back it came, like herpes.

          Granted it's late and it's been a long day, so I may well have missed an update when trawling through the installed ones, however...

          I can verify that Veti's reg hack does indeed work a charm. While the reg script moaned at me for some reason when I tried to run it with elevated privileges, I merely navigated to the relevant hive in the registry, added a new key and DWORD and set the hex value as per the script would have done anyway.

          I wish I could give more than one upvote :)

      2. BillG Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Tool

        You know, people still using Windows XP don't look so foolish now.

        1. Chika
          Trollface

          Re: Tool

          Shhhh!!! You'll give them ideas!

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Tool

          You know, you almost don't need the icon here.

          Apparently Win7 boxes are now under determined attack from a highly knowledgeable party who have already compromised the signing keys that are supposed to ensure that updates are trustworthy. You can try to resist these attacks by configuring the PC, but the attacker keeps shifting their target and has (probably) an endless supply of vectors available to them. The only sure way to defend your PC is to hide it behind an independent firewall and block connections to the outside world.

          How is that different to XP?

          1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

            Re: Tool

            "How is that different to XP?"

            They promised us Win7 would be supported for a few more years, not retired early.

        3. Infernoz Bronze badge
          WTF?

          Re: Tool

          BS, XP holdouts are zombies, because it has no security fixes now, so it is an open door for crackers!

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      A most excellent tool. I'm running it on 4 PC's at home and so far, so good. BUT, it's probably a good idea to recheck the page every couple of days since MS is changing tactics.

      Edit.. just checked and downloaded the upgrade.. DAMN MS... pulled a fast one and the update caught it... Check your settings on Update as they're forcing them to Auto Update.

      1. Mad_Max

        Maybe Microsoft should change their name to Malwaresoft.

        I've had issues with updating windows last Tuesday, this is what happened to me...

        I have windows 7 ultimate and automatic updates turned off, I know from years of experience to only allow security updates to be installed after I've done some research. On 10/13/15 I received 9 important updates, 2 recommended and 3 optional updates (windows 10 upgrade, silverlight and skype update) I decided to download the 9 important updates and one recommended, I don't need windows 10 upgrade or the recommended update (KB 2952664, compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7) at this time.

        After I downloaded and installed the updates and restarted my computer my settings for windows updates was changed with out my permission from check for updates but let me choose to install them which was my setting for at least past three years to install updates automatically. When I changed my update the settings back to the way it was before windows changed it I noticed that update KB 2952664 (compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7) was ready to be installed when I would power down, there was no option to stop it. I had no choice but to download the unwanted KB 2952664 update and then remove it manually.

        This morning (10/15/15) I checked my update settings and everything's OK but when I went to installed updates the unwanted KB 2952664 update was back.

        So let's review. Microsoft hacked my system, change my update settings, force me to download an unwanted update (KB 2952664) and then after I manually remove it Microsoft reinstalled it without my knowledge.

        WTF is going on!

        After hours of research I've discovered that I could remove all of last Tuesday's security updates except one KB 2952664 that's because this update involves collecting data every day and sending it back to Microsoft. The only way to remove this update is to do a system restore.

        When I made the system restore I did not know there was an alternate solution.

        ( Florida1920... As mentioned in another thread, I started here: http://www.ghacks.net/2015/04/17/how-to-remove-windows-10-upgrade-updates-in-windows-7-and-8/ ) Thanks Florida1920.

        I also discovered that they hacked my system with this update KB 3083710 they say it contains some improvements to Windows Update Client in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. I believe this changes your update settings from check for updates but let me choose when to download and install them to install updates automatically. When KB 3083710 is installed it automatically installs KB 2952664 when you shut down.

      2. Jimmy2Cows

        Check your settings on Update as they're forcing them to Auto Update

        @Mark85 good catch - thanks

        Windows Update is now back how I want it. Not how they want it. MS, you sneaky bastards...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      There's also:

      https://github.com/WindowsLies/BlockWindows

      ..a set of (readable) .bat and .vbs scripts which help people defend themselves from Redmond's shenanigans.

      Despite the obvious quality of the project and its usefulness to Windows users, the author remarks:

      "There is a highly concerted effort by M$ to harass websites that link to this. I'm tired of constantly trying to convince website admins it's not spam."

      Maybe Reg could consider mentioning it for the potential benefit of readers? Perhaps as a bootnote to this article and the many forthcoming articles of a similar nature? Shirley some reference to tools which can help people mitigate this ongoing problem must be in order?

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        I will add it as an article to a number of websites I have access to, and if I work out how to add it to invisible comments on a website I'll do that too (as Google counts it, even if it's invisible).

    4. yossarianuk

      Or a tool here

      www.distrowatch.org

      1. keithpeter
        Windows

        Linux

        Just look at Debian stable or Slackware and do some reading. Its not rocket science for the kind of people who hang out here.

        Personally, I'd quite like to try Win10 on an old Thinkpad X200 but the feckin' Windows 7 Home for recycled computers won't fetch upgrades...

    5. RobHib
      Devil

      Class Action to Charge MS for the Download Fees & Nuke Updates

      A class action to charge MS for the download fees/time would stop them. Ultimately, that ought to cost MS many billions.

      Pushed downloads STEAL your internet fees (especially on wireless connections which I use)! Getting governments to change laws so pushed downloads are specifically illegal without specific user-initiated consent would also help. If we steal MS code the shit hits the fan.

      If MS steals our internet time zilch happens. Now who's fault is that? Us of course, as we've done fuck-all about it for years.

      Personally, I've solve the problem completely by not allowing Microsoft Update with 50 feet of any of my PCs. I've never even seen an MS notice/request re Win 10. Now, isn't that wonderful?

  2. Garry Perez

    Dear Bill,

    You and I were, if not best buddies, certainly people that got on. For 30 odd years we have had a special relationship, DOS, 3.1 WIN95/98 (cough Vista). And you know what I even told my mates how good you were. Things were sweet.

    Then win 10.

    F*ck you

    F*ck you in the a*** with a f****** 10 inch c******r sidewards

    F*ck you until you f******g f*****d up f*****d f*****s f*ck off.

    I've now gone to linux Mint and will now be converting all my non-tech mates over to it.

    So yeah, its not going to be the year of Linux, but y'know, we, the tech nerds support our family and friends and when we tell them to fuck windows off, you are sliding down a slippery slope.

    For the record, el Reg users, I held off going to Linux for years. All I can say is what was I thinking? Mint is a fantastic piece of software and is now on my laptop and my friends. Works great and to top it off, no fucking fucked up fucked ribbon.

    So one more time

    FUCK U MS.

    (bit of a rant, soz people)

    restored with asterisks by El Mod because it was quite a funny rant really, if a bit too sweary for normal service

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Linux

      I wish I could upvote this post a 1000 times... ;-)

      1. Quip

        I am sure I would upvote too but it appears that

        "This post has been deleted by a moderator"

        1. boltar Silver badge

          >I am sure I would upvote too but it appears that

          >

          >"This post has been deleted by a moderator"

          There do seem to be 1 or 2 moderators at El Reg who have a rather puritanical view about whats acceptable. I've had 2 of my posts refused in the last week which hasn't happened before so I suspect they're new. Probably just out of uni and still feeling terribly righteous and politically correct.

          1. malle-herbert Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re : "This post has been deleted by a moderator"

            Yup... and that poor guy had almost 150 upvotes too...

            Fuck fuckety fuck fuck fuck...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I wish I could upvote this post a 1000 times... ;-)

        I wish I could read this post in the first place, as it appears to have been deleted by a moderator. In which case, shouldn't he/she delete all the comments? Like, "it never happened!". Funny that, given so many positive comments about the "it never happened" comment. Unless, as usual, I'm barking up (down?) the wrong tree?

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "I wish I could upvote this post a 1000 times... ;-)"

        I think that task has now been crowd-sourced. (250 and counting.)

      4. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        I wish I could upvote this post a 1000 times

        Looks like the rest of us are helping with that goal. Wonder what the record is on El Reg?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Looks like the rest of us are helping with that goal. Wonder what the record is on El Reg?

          Well, there's a bit of a way to catch up to this. I note it is also about the same (general) topic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dear Bill, Steve and Satya,

      Fixed that for you. Bill hasn't been in charge since the turn of the century.

      1. zen1

        @ Stewart Longland

        Fixed that for you...

        Dear Fuck Sticks,

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Seriously Misjudged the Mood

          Microsoft have seriously misjudge their market, yet again.

          What people wanted was something that worked like Windows 7 and was bought like Windows 7. Windows 8 was bought like Windows 7, but didn't look like it. People didn't want it.

          OK so they've kinda restored the look and feel, but then they've gone and changed the ownership model? Funny old thing - people don't want that either.

          Whatever is left of the PC market clearly wants to keep things at about the Windows 7 level. Evidence - people are not upgrading, and are increasingly unlikely to do so. And when was the last time you read a good headline about Windows 10? The response to Windows 10 is ranging from meh to wtf.

          In an age when the privacy of data is becoming a hotter and hotter topic, Microsoft have bet their future on personal data collection. They're getting desperate - some of these attempts to push Windows 10 could end up landing them in court.

          If this doesn't seriously depress the PC market over the next few years then I don't know what will. To stabilise it Windows 10 needed to be anything from meh to brilliant. Meh would have been ok. A meh would have been guaranteed had they not put in all the data collection. In fact, they could have simply kept Windows 7's desktop and put an updated kernel inside. That would be been ok too.

          MS need to look at how Apple change things. Basically, they don't. They've taken a few risks with dropping old APIs and frameworks, otherwise they've not really changed a thing. If Apple suddenly changed OS X into something completely different and unpleasant then what do you think their audience would think? Setting aside jokes about sheeople, I think that Mac sales would plummet. Apple must be laughing their heads off!

          And in the world of Linux, look at how well Mint is doing. Subtle improvements to the old desktop paradigm are proving very popular there.

          Basically on every platform out there there's no evidence that anyone wants anything different to what we've had for decades. The sooner MS drop the crap and go back to boring the sooner things will settle down. It's never going to return to its peak, too much damage has been done. Forcing a Freemium funded OS down the throats of their remaining users without their permission is a recipe for long term decline.

          I don't think it will be too long before MS start treating Mac as the primary platform for Office. I mean, they'll have to; people won't be buying PCs...

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